(NEW YORK) — You don’t normally strap on your high heels to go to the gym, but in the world of “Heel Hop” you do.
The newest exercise craze is just your typical fitness class, complete with stretches, sit-ups — and stilettos.
“Heels have such a stigma and I’ve made my money in heels,” said Kamilah, the one-named wonder behind the high heels-required exercise class, in an interview with ABC News.
“I came straight out of the womb with some high heel pumps,” she said. “I feel more of myself and I feel even more graceful than being in tennis shoes.”
Kamilah, a backup dancer for music stars like 50 Cent and R. Kelly and herself a finalist on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, had the idea to combine her love of heels with her love of exercise.
“I studied with Bally Total Fitness and infused all of that together, along with my dance background, and created something really safe, really fun and really sexy for women to do,” she said.
Kamilah trademarked her 60-minute, all-high-heel workout and currently teaches it in her Los Angeles studio, as well as for clients from New York City to Tokyo and Moscow.
Women have been warned for years, of course, of the damage walking in high heels can do to their body, so how can exercising in them be good for you? It can’t, argue some doctors.
“They [high heels] are a very unstable type of shoe for your body,” Dr. James Braxton Little, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based podiatrist, told ABC News. “Exercising in them just doesn’t make sense in any way, shape or form.”
Kamilah says she is living proof, however, that when worn correctly, high heels are not a danger, whether you’re exercising in them or just walking around.
“To this day, I am still performing in high heels and I don’t have a bunion,” she said. “When you get in them [heels], you want to know how you are supposed to feel.”
Kamilah’s tip for surviving in high heels is “to shop for the right shoe that’s right for you. You have to shop for function and you have to shop for sport.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Mark Baker, Bingham Memorial Hospital
David Goldman, CNN